NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Last Four In, First Four Out Odds

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

The most exciting month in college basketball is nearly upon us, with teams from sea to shining sea seeking to bolster their standing so they can find their way into the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2024. Whether it be the giants of the sport like Arizona, Duke, Kansas and North Carolina or the Cinderellas like High Point, UNC Wilmington, James Madison and Grand Canyon University, everyone wants to hear their name called out on Selection Sunday, especially now that NC sports betting apps launched on March 11.

Only a select few will, however, with oddsmakers from FanDuel North Carolina currently listing UConn (+450), Houston (+600), Purdue (+700), Tennessee and Arizona (+1300 each), to go with Kentucky and UNC (+2000 each) as the favorites to win it all this spring. Check out our FanDuel North Carolina promo code to pick your national champion.

Utilizing BracketMatrix.com, BetCarolina.com developed the NCAA Tournament Bubble by taking the average seeds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball teams in 100 of the top bracketologists on the Internet.  

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Last Four In, First Four Out Odds

*Four teams with lowest average are the First Four In 

TeamAverage SeedNumber of Brackets Included In
Colorado 10.6184
Virginia10.7589
St. John's 10.8989
Indiana State11.1070
New Mexico 11.1450
Texas A&M11.0932
Villanova11.2030
Wake Forrest11.388

Remember, BetCarolina.com is your home to all March Madness odds as the tournament nears.

Bracketology: Teams On The Bubble

Colorado NCAA Tournament Chances 

It’s been three years since Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes have reached the field of 68, with CU beating 12th-seed Georgetown (96-73) before falling to fourth-seeded FSU in the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as a fifth seed.  

This year, the Buffs’ enter the final Pac-12 Tournament with the No. 26 spot on KenPom.com and on the NCAA’s NET rankings, with a Thursday evening showdown against Utah in Las Vegas at 9:30 p.m. Mountain time, in a game that oddsmakers from ESPN BET list CU as a 4.5-point favorite in.  

Colorado enters the Pac-12 Tournament on the heels of a six-game winning streak, with victories over USC (92-89 in OT), Utah (89-65), Cal (88-78), Stanford (81-71), Oregon (79-75) and Oregon State (73-57) to move to 22-9 for the year and 13-7 in conference play.  

The Buffs’ strong close to the regular season was enough to get them in on 84 of the brackets that BracketMatrix.com tracks, illustrating how far CU has come from losing three of their first five Pac-12 games in early January.  

A win over the Utes on Thursday night could go a long way towards guaranteeing Boyle and company make it into the field this spring, as the Pac-12’s swan song tips off in earnest on the Strip in Las Vegas.  

Virginia NCAA Tournament Chances 

Tony Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers team finds itself squarely on the bubble, with an average seed of 10.75  and making the field on 89 brackets in total, as UVA looks to reach the Big Dance for the eighth time in the last decade.  

It’s been a bumpy road of late for Bennett and company, with UVA losing four of their final six games to ACC foes, including a 73-48 shellacking in Durham at the hands of the Duke Blue Devils in Durham followed by a regular season finale victory over Georgia Tech to finish 13-7 in ACC play, ranking 52nd nationally in the NCAA’s latest batch of NET ranking and 68th on KenPom.com.  

The issue for UVA is their less-than-stellar non-conference slate that included zero wins over currently ranked teams (with a victory over two then-ranked teams that are now out of the poll, in Texas A&M), combined with losses to Wisconsin and Memphis outside of ACC play.  

That soft schedule, combined with UVA’s slide down the stretch, could ultimately cost them a trip to the Big Dance, with UVA likely needing at least one win in the ACC Tournament to buoy their tournament hopes, beginning with Thursday night’s clash with Boston College.  

Oddsmakers at ESPN BET currently list the Cavaliers as a 4.5-point favorite over the Eagles with a -200 moneyline in favor of UVA (to +170 for BC), as UVA looks to find their way into the field of 68 once again in 2024.  

St. John’s NCAA Tournament Chances  

Legendary head coach Rick Pitino’s first season in Queens has gone about as swimmingly as possible, with St. John’s exceeding their year-end win total (19) and posting their first .500 or better year in Big East play since 2020-21.  

Fresh off an 86-78 road win over Georgetown to close the regular season on Saturday, the Johnnies closed the year at 19-12 and 11-9 in Big East play, serving as a major improvement over where the program was under former head coach Mike Anderson.  

Anderson went 68-56 (.548) with the program but failed to reach the Big Dance at all in four seasons in Queens, which left a sour taste in program backers’ collective mouths, which is why they came calling for the 70-year-old wonder that had previously turned around a host of programs, from Boston University and Providence in the Northeast to Kentucky and Louisville in the Bluegrass State.  

As of Thursday, St. John’s sits in 39th place in the latest NET rankings, while KenPom.com has the Red Storm at No. 29 nationally, which helps explain their average seed (10.89) and inclusion in 89 brackets in total.  

St. John’s can go a long way towards inclusion by taking care of business against Seton Hall on Thursday afternoon in a contest that oddsmakers from ESPN BET have the Johnnies as a 3.5-point favorite in, with a -175 moneyline for Pitino’s team, to +150 for the Pirates.  

Indiana State NCAA Tournament Chances  

It’s been 14 years since Larry Bird’s alma mater last reached the field of 68, but the Indiana State Sycamores are in fine shape to do just that in 2024, thanks to their 28-6 record and strong standing on KenPom.com, where they rank 42nd nationally, as well as in the NCAA NET rankings, where they are 27th.  

The Sycamores are helped metrics-wise by their 9-4 road record, combined with their 22-1 mark against teams in Quads 3 and 4, though their 5-5 mark against Quads 1 & 2 might come back to haunt them come Selection Sunday.  

Right now, Indiana State has an average seed of 11.10 with the Sycamores making the field of 68 on 70 brackets in total, giving them the slightest of edges over the New Mexico Lobos, who are our first team out this week with an average seed of 11.14.  

One thing that seems certain is that the turnaround job that third-year head coach Josh Schertz has overseen in Terre Haute has the nation’s attention, taking Indiana State from 11-20 in 2021-22 to 23-13 last year and 28-6 this season, giving the Sycamores their best shot at the Big Dance since the 2010-11 season.  

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First Four Odds FAQ

Author

Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetCarolina.com specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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